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Thoughts on the ammo crunch 03/01/2019

The shooting season has arrived in NWI and ammo hasn’t become any more available.  We had ammo as cheap as it had been in many years two years ago.  Factories were still pushing out ammo and people were shooting less.  Prices plummeted and those that were smart bought as much as they could.  Quality 9mm ammo for $200 per 1000 rounds.  Quality MOA rifle ammo for $300 per 1000 rounds.  Overlooked, most gun owners just bought what they would need for the next couple of months and kept buying guns they rarely have time to shoot. 

Then the riots started happening.  People who would have never bought a gun went out and got one.  The base of gun owners budged just a little bit and got bigger. Non gun owners began to notice what gun owners had said all along, someone will be here eventually to help you in your time of immediate need. The needle ticked slightly higher on percentage of Americans that own guns.

Then the pandemic hit.  People started buying toilet paper.  Yes, toilet paper.  And food.  And seeds.  Overnight we became a nation of preppers that were worried about diarrhea.  They eventually looked at their supply and understood they had to find a way to protect their precious supply of toilet paper.  So then they went out and bought a gun.  Maybe a couple of guns.  

Then we had an election cycle, which normally drives up prices, however, a democrat won.  They won all three houses.  At this point the gun owners went crazy and bought anything and everything, no matter the prices.

So here we are.  Ammo is exorbitantly expensive and the prospects of replacing it will happen with time or money.  For those with neither this is a daunting time.  We have finally gotten more people to find the 2nd Amendment worthy, but the supply chain wasn’t ready for the 8,000,000 new gun owners.  If those 8,000,000 bought 100 rounds each that would push straight to 800,000,000 rounds, just for new gun owners!  That is nearly A BILLION rounds just for our new found friends of 2A.

I’m going to say something completely crazy here but bear with me. 
Shoot your ammo.  Yes, I said it, shoot it.  
Shoot your ammo so you can remain proficient with what you own.
Shoot your ammo to remember why you enjoy shooting.
Shoot your ammo because you could get hit by a bus tomorrow.
Shoot your ammo because being a collector is the same as a spectator.
Shoot your ammo because these new gun owners need a place to start.

The common cries of the long-time gun owner is “What if I don’t have any ammo?”  Obviously you shouldn’t shoot every last round you have.  However, what is a good number of rounds to have on hand?  Well, it depends on the platform and why you believe you need that ammo.

You have a stock of ammo because you are worried about the state of the nation or some sort of doomsday scenario:
You have guns and so do your friends.  You have a couple of cases of ammo, just in case and don’t want to use up what you have.  A question for you then.  Do you have all of this ammo loaded into mags?  If not, how many protracted gun battles do you think you will win with loose ammo?  Roving marauders have been murdering people and taking their ammo and you have been doing nothing.  No shooting, no training, and you are alone.  Ever consider you are buying and hoarding to equip the next better trained person?  A gun safe full of guns and ammo are no match for a well trained person and a good plan.  Be the better trained person that can resupply with each win.

What you need:
Rifle 400 rounds loaded into mags
Pistol 100 defensive rounds loaded into mags

You have a stock of ammo because you want to be able to barter:
If things have collapsed and we are using ammo to barter I’d recommend selling something else.  Stock up on liquor, cigarettes, wet wipes, seeds, shoes, or a whole host of other consumables.  Furthermore, you are woefully unprepared in the skills department (I don’t care what you know, it isn’t enough) so start learning.  Also, do cardio and fix your diet.  There won’t be cardiologists to save you from a heart attack in the world you are envisioning.

What you need:
Rifle 90 rounds loaded into mags
Pistol 100 defensive rounds loaded into mags

You have stock ammo because you want to stay proficient:
Obviously dry fire drills take you far in the manipulation of the platform.  Draw and shoots, transitions, mag changes, up drills, turn to contacts, CQB shapes.  Literally everything except for recoil management.  Problem is, these aren’t (that) fun.  It will take discipline to maintain skill if you choose to never shoot.  There is an alternative.  Apply the 80-20 rule to your shooting.  If you get your dry fire training complete, you get to shoot.  Make that ammo count.  

What you need:
A reloader with components for 5k rounds of every platform used
Stock up when the prices reduce

I want to make sure I can feed my family if something ever happens.
Food is incredibly inexpensive if you are buying flour, sugar, spices, and seeds.  Buying food now will offer a piece of mind that magically learning to hunt can never have.  Hunting is a skill that people hone for years and still come up empty handed some seasons. The great depression took our wild game to nearly extinct levels.  Start accumulating skills now.  You won’t walk into woods and just happen upon food, not in the beginning and definitely not months in.  If you tried it now you’d likely meet the angry owners of the woods. Learning to grow food, harvest, and preserve gives a satisfaction knowing what you are feeding your family. All without trespassing onto an angry gun owners land.

What you need:
10 chickens
Trees that produce fruit
Shrubs that provide fruit
1 goat
As many heirloom seeds as you can find

Take a count of what you shot last year.  Now how many rounds did you use to be better rather than just have fun?  Yes, shooting is fun.  However, if the reason you are hoarding ammo is because you might have to use it you might want to set aside a specific amount for training and keep your cache intact.